Jyoti Basu calls for rebuilding unity in ruling coalition

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Kolkata, May 15 (UNI) Expressing grave concern over yesterday's clash between Left Front partners, CPI(M) and RSP, veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu today called for rebuilding unity in the ruling coalition.

''What happened yesterday is very sad. We have to learn a lesson from it. We have to build anew the Left Front,'' he told reporters during a book release programme at his residence here.

Altogether four people, including a woman, were killed in a fierce battle between the marauding supporters of the CPI(M) and RSP during the second phase of panchayat polling at Talda village under Basanti police station in South 24 Parganas district yesterday.

Three of the victims were RSP supporters while one belonged to the CPI(M).

The incident brought to the bottom the already strained relation between the CPI(M) and RSP, which had been in a bitter spat for long over issues like Nandigram, Singur and the state government's approach towards industrialisation.

Besides the RSP, the CPI(M) was also not having a good relation either with the Forward Bloc or the CPI and other important Front constituents that led to a great disunity, particularly over seat sharing in the panchayat elections.

Admitting that little unity could be forged among the Front partners in the elections, Mr Basu said it was worse than the previous election.

''Biman (Left Front chairman) wanted it but the state of unity is worse than what it was in the last election,'' he said.

Holding the CPI(M) responsible for the violence at Talda, RSP leader and Minister Biswanath Chowdhury said the incident signalled the 'death of democracy' in West Bengal.

Without naming the CPI(M), Mr Kshiti Goswami, another RSP Minister in the West Bengal Cabinet, alleged that the incident was the outcome of the Fascist force trying to take control of power.

To a question whether the RSP would remain in the Front, Mr Goswami said the party would decide its future course of action at appropriate time.

Describing the incident as unfortunate, Left Front Committee Chairman and CPI(M) state Secretary Biman Basu, however, claimed that the Front still enjoyed unity among the partners, and the Panchayat polls, where they could not come to seat adjustment in many places, were not the end of everything.

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